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Old 01-02-2009, 06:06 PM   #1
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umm how safe is the money belt?

im asking cause i see posts regarding people losing bank cards and visas.
i will be taking my greencard and if i end up losing it somehow, i am fucked for the next 7 + years in europe especially right before i go to colllege :[

so that's my biggest concern.

Also how do you deal with mugging situation? i kinda actually want to have an experience of being confronteeeeed lol. but i mean, do you bring like pepper spray?
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:27 PM   #2
 
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YoungSon-

Bringing something like pepper spray to defend yourself could be a good idea, but it could also be a terrible idea. What if you miss the person's eyes, he gets pissed, and then stabs you to death? Yeah. When you get mugged you lose whatever you have on you and risk physical injury. If you try to fight back or resist chances are you will get your ass handed to you.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:31 PM   #3
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money belt, I took one and liked having it on me kept my extra cash, credit card and memory cards from my camera as they filled up in it. I would say it is personal preference.

I am a female and traveled alone in Europe, went out a bit and checked out the cities at night and never had anything stolen or was robbed. Nor did I ever feel unsafe anywhere I went. Pepper spray would be a bit excessive, in my opinion but if you feel it necessary then go for it you can buy it in at some markets. I think the biggest difference with Europe and North America is that if someone wants something you won't even notice they took it until you go to grab it, say your wallet, in North America they might stab you for it.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:02 PM   #4
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ah ~ tx
augentier and the traveler

yea i actually never thought about it that way about being mobbed. i used to live in NY, and in middle schoool, this dude was stabbed in the head for money. in middle school. but yea very good point.

further info or insights on any of those two issues would be appreciated verrrrrry muhc
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:13 PM   #5
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There are a few other threads on the subject, and the conclusion of all is to either count on your luck and not wear a money belt, or be safe and keep your valuables hidden. I lost my wallet once in the countryside of Laos... I was more than happy to have my credit card, bank card, ticket, passport and $100 emergency money in my money belt !

As for the scam question, the best is to read the safety section of a good travel book on your destinations, such as Lonely Planet. They are pretty accurate about the current forms of scams in every part of the world, plus they usually provide the way out of bad situations.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:18 PM   #6
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in my opinion, the money belt is lameeeeee and is a dead giveaway that you're a rick steves totin, map wavin, tshirt and shorts wearin, amurrican turrist...its not that I'm ashamed to be american, its that looking too much of any foreigner makes you a mark

lets put it this way, europeans dont walk around their cities with moneybelts in fear of getting pickpocketed, so if you (within reason) don't tote the book, wave the map, or wear the uniform, you'll mostly likely be okay
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:29 PM   #7
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^^^The money belt doesn't show, nobody notices you are wearing one. I have to disagree with you on this one dear Lizz, because losing your credit card/passport/green card/etc. all at the same time is impossible in the city where you live. It is a more of a pain to get everything back while abroad than at home-takes a lot of fun of your travel-, and you still must live in the meantime (don't need to pay the rent daily at home either).
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:09 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
lets put it this way, europeans dont walk around their cities with moneybelts in fear of getting pickpocketed
good point lizz..but where do you put your credit card, passport, tickets, and money when you're out and about ? purse, bag?
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atchoum View Post
^^^The money belt doesn't show, nobody notices you are wearing one. I have to disagree with you on this one dear Lizz, because losing your credit card/passport/green card/etc. all at the same time is impossible in the city where you live. It is a more of a pain to get everything back while abroad than at home-takes a lot of fun of your travel-, and you still must live in the meantime (don't need to pay the rent daily at home either).
yeah, as much as i try to blend in i still prefer to not have my passport, check card and extra cash hanging around where someone can pick it off.

but be warned, if you are going somewhere even moderately warm the belt and everything in it will smell nasty! nothing like handing the customs official your nice warm, moist, soft passport!
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:20 AM   #10
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If people don't want to be wearing money belts OR lugging round their valuables in a regular bag, lots of hostels have a safe you can put stuff into.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by augentier View Post
good point lizz..but where do you put your credit card, passport, tickets, and money when you're out and about ? purse, bag?
i've got my bank cards, credit card, and cash (no more than the local equivelent of 100 USD) in my wallet, which is in my front pocket right now, also i have my phone in my other pocket, i've also got a purse but im not using it right now because i had to rearrange my packing to not go over the ryanair weight limit so everythings a mess right now

ive got my passport locked up in the locker this hostel provided, otherwise, hate to admit it, but i'd probably leave it lying under my pillow

right now is the first time i've travelled with a laptop so I'm a little more security concious, whereas the previous two times if there werent lockers it wasn't a big deal, this hostel in dublin i just stayed at let me check mine and my valuables (also brought some jewelery) at the desk
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:04 AM   #12
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I wear a money belt all the time. Everything but in the shower style. I never had a problem.

Lizz, what precautions are you taking for your laptop safety?
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:23 AM   #13
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at four courts in dublin they didnt have lockers, so reception held it for me and at night i slept with it on my bed
here at archi de rossi they have lockers

luckily the guy in the bunk below me at four courts left his lock so if a hostel has lockers but no locks, ive got one to use

if I'm nervous about one thing getting stolen, its my laptop, its my baby
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augentier View Post
good point lizz..but where do you put your credit card, passport, tickets, and money when you're out and about ? purse, bag?
I have a money belt but rarely use it. It's great for just keeping things organized, it has a main pocket with a couple mesh dividers and a small pocket in front. So I use that to organize my passport, currency, etc.

I don't like wearing a money belt because I find it makes things a bit stuffy when you're hiking around a lot. In general, I try to lock my stuff in a lockbox at my hostel. It's possible someone will break into it, but it's also possible someone will rob me on the street...and it's more convenient to not have the full belt on. Bring a real lock, like a master lock instead of one of those tiny little locksso they'll at least have to use bolt cutters rather than just whacking it with something. I'm sure sure others prefer to keep their stuff on them at all times, it's just a matter of preference.

As for pepper spray, I wonder if you'll be able to cross borders with it. Most states have some regulations on what types of chemical sprays are allowed for self defense so I would think most countries would have them and restrict people from bringing them across borders. In some places it might be considered a concealed weapon. So do some research before going that route.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:58 PM   #15
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As for pepper spray, I wonder if you'll be able to cross borders with it. Most states have some regulations on what types of chemical sprays are allowed for self defense so I would think most countries would have them and restrict people from bringing them across borders. In some places it might be considered a concealed weapon. So do some research before going that route.
Pepper spray is fine to cross borders with. I bought some just because I thought it was cool and in Canada we only have "bear spray" (aka same thing, different name). I actually forgot about it in my backpack the entire trip, took it into hungary, flew to london and turkey with it. No problems.

If a person felt it necessary to have it on them they could just buy it and throw it out before you leave. It's cheap anyway. But I don't think you have to worry.
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:31 AM   #16
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Money belt is the safest and most convenient precaution you can take. These stop the opportunistic thieves who prey on the unaware and stupid. It's also best to find a hostel with lockers and your own lock.

But, if someone is really determined to rob you, you have to face the fact that there is no foolproof way to stop him from stealing all your shit.

The best way to avoid getting robbed in not anything you carry, but general awareness. This last trip I brought my money belt, but I never wore it.
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:38 AM   #17
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... and about Pepper Spray and other weapons. If you bring these on a trip, you have better know exactly how and when to use it.

Because if you try to use a weapon and you screw up and injure someone, they might get pissed off and try to beat you senseless (or worse!) instead of just robbing you.

Talking yourself and thinking on your feet out of shitty situations is much safer.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:47 PM   #18
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You would want to make sure about pepper spray. In Europe your not supposed to attack your attacker. Your supposed to get mugged/killed and then go to the police and let them deal with it. Anything that could be seen as a weapon can get you in trouble.

I bought a money belt but never used it. The only time I got pick pocketed I had no money on me.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:18 AM   #19
 
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For important documents. Make copies, of everything. Scan them, and put them in an email that you can access in an emergency. Have a copy of your passport/green card in your bag.

Yeah I wanted to comment that I remember in England that pepper spray was deemed a dangerous weapon and was illegal to carry, I think. Since you're going to Europe, I would stay away from pepper spray. Honestly I've never felt threatened in Europe, but don't ever let your guard down. It's always beneficial to travel in groups when possible.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:04 AM   #20
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For important documents. Make copies, of everything. Scan them, and put them in an email that you can access in an emergency. Have a copy of your passport/green card in your bag.

Yeah I wanted to comment that I remember in England that pepper spray was deemed a dangerous weapon and was illegal to carry, I think. Since you're going to Europe, I would stay away from pepper spray. Honestly I've never felt threatened in Europe, but don't ever let your guard down. It's always beneficial to travel in groups when possible.
I don't know about traveling in groups either. I ran into a few lads not 10 miles from my own town in Cesky Krumlov and they had the snot kicked out of them in Prague. They reckoned it was becuase they where overheard talking in English. Although. They did go outside the centre of Prague and the town they're from is full of thick ignorant mucksavages that would start a fight with their own mothers.

European pickpockets would know backpackers aren't an ideal target. So as long as you don't look like a tourist on a shopping holiday you should avoid most troubles.
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